The Beginning Of Sorrows

The Beginning Of Sorrows

Jesus and His disciples came out of the temple at Jerusalem and His disciples wanted to show Him the beautiful buildings Herod had built. Jesus answer was:

“And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Matthew 24:2

Jesus was prophesying the destruction of the temple that would happen some forty years later when Titus the Roman overthrew Jerusalem and destroyed the temple completely.

“And as He sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and the end of the world?’ Matthew 24:3

God’s people are still asking the same questions today. Then Jesus laid out a time plan we are to look for to know the sign of His coming, and the end of the world (age).

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:3-8

We are living in the day when we are witnessing all the things Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24. All we hear of today is wars and rumors of war; every kind of war imaginable all over the world – – – nation against nation – – – and kingdom against kingdom.

Famine is prevalent on every continent. Pestilence, new diseases are reported on a regular basis, and the old diseases we thought were eradicated are again raising their ugly heads.

Earthquakes are everyday occurrences all over the world. But as Jesus related all these things are only the beginning of sorrows.

The Greek word sorrows means “the unbearable, intolerable pain of childbirth.” The birth pangs are indeed getting harder and harder. But before this intolerable pain comes upon the earth, we have God’s assurance He is going to raise up an overcoming army. This army is ready to be birthed at God’s appointed time.

God has given us a sign we can clearly see which reveals with complete certainty when His judgment will begin:

“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)” Matthew 24:15

The abomination that brings desolation is surely standing in the Holy Place in our day. These are the seminary trained pastors that have desolated the church and taught their lies, such as Once saved, always saved; Rapture; Ultimate Reconciliation; etc, etc, etc. These are all dealing with unholy fire.

Man cannot even imagine what is about to take place on planet earth, and especially in the United States. But mankind is about to witness the opening of the seven seals in Revelation. These seven seals are on a book. Jesus revealed the opening of the seals on this book to John on the Isle of Patmos:

“And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.” Revelation 5:1-3

This book was in the hand of Him that sat on the throne, and no one was able to open the seals to reveal what the book contained. John began to weep because no one could open the book.

“And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.” And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne.” Revelation 5:5-7

This book or scroll was written on the front and on the back, and was sealed with seven seals. Ezekiel prophesied about this book thousands of years before Jesus revealed it unto John:

“But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee. And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein; And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.” Ezekiel 2:9-10

Ezekiel’s scroll was written on the front and back, just as Jesus showed John. As Ezekiel reveals, this book was full of lamentations, mourning, and woe. This was the book John saw in Revelation 6 which no one could open except the Lion of Judah, the Root of David. This was the Lamb of God who was slain before the foundation of the earth, and who overcame death to rule and reign for all eternity.

There were seven seals on this book. When the first four seals were opened, they revealed four horsemen on four different colored horses. One was white, one red, one black, and one pale or yellowish. These are called the four horsemen of the apocalypse. The word apocalypse means “the revealing of a concealed revelation“.

As we view the opening of these seals, we can understand the revelation God is revealing to those who live in this last hour of time:

The White Horse reveals purity or light. The Red Horse reveals war, bloodshed, and death. The Black Horse reveals sin, death, and famine. The Pale or Yellowish Horse reveals sickness, plagues, and death.

The seven seals were opened one at a time. When a seal was removed it opened that part of the book. The Lamb opened the first seal:

“And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and He that sat upon him had a bow,; and a crown was given unto Him, and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” Revelation 6:1-2

The White Horse – – – The Opening of the First Seal

When the first seal was opened, we discover the first of the four horses described. The first rider was on a white horse. We also see a bow sat upon Him, and He was given a crown. This white horse rider went forth conquering, and to conquer. Most believe this is a military leader, and indeed, it is a military leader. This military leader has a great sword. The word conquer was translated in the Scripture twenty-four times “to overcome.” Revelation 19 reveals this white horse rider as the head of His overcoming army. As stated before white always represents purity and light.

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called the Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.” Revelation 19:11-14

This can be no other than Christ Jesus, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. The King of Kings is about to smite the nations and tread the winepress of the fierceness and the wrath of Almighty God. But before God’s judgment comes, the King is going to raise up an overcoming, conquering army of believers. These overcomers will be His young men who are filled with the Word, His Spirit, and have overcome the wicked one, I John 2:14. Paul informs us:

“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” II Timothy 2:3

God is raising up an army of overcomers.

The white horse rider had a bow. This was not a weapon of war, but the rainbow which is the promise of God to His people that He would never again destroy the earth by flood. This time it would be by fire. But the white horse military leader has given His overcoming army the promise. Isaiah the prophet tells us:

“When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” Isaiah 43:2

The fire will have no affect upon God’s overcoming army. It will only come upon those who do not have the seal of God in their foreheads. The white horse rider is preparing those who were called from the foundation of the earth to overcome in the days ahead and stand before the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords who is called Faithful and True. He, alone, will judge and make war on all those who are not worthy of His name.

The Red Horse – – – The Opening of the Second Seal

“And when He had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to Him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto Him a great sword.” Revelation 6:3-4

The red horse represents war, bloodshed, and death. Jesus told us when the end comes, there will be wars and rumors of war. There are wars on every continent – – – including Iraq and Afghanistan in Asia – – – which could ultimately lead to World War III. There are rumors of war in Syria, Iran and North Korea – – – and the whole world is in fear of the War of Terrorism. Before it is over there will be wars over oil and food and water. Wars and rumors of war will take, and have taken, peace from the planet earth, and the worst is yet to come.

The great sword is modern warfare with its giant bombs, rapid-fire weapons, grenade launchers . . . the list is endless – – – and yes, nuclear weapons. Nation rising against nation. Has the second seal been opened? Yes, the seal of the red horse of war and rumors of war has definitely been opened.

The Black Horse – – – The Opening of the Third Seal

“And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I behold, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” Revelation 6:5-6

The third seal is the black horse. The black horse represents sin, famine, and death by famine. The rider on the black horse has a balance in his hand. For years it has been taught the balance was a set of scales. But the Greek word for balance is ZUYOS and should have been translated “yoke.” A yoke is what you put on a beast of burden. The Greek word ZUYOS was translated 5 times as yoke and only once as the word balances. How is ZUYOS used in the Scriptures?

“Now therefore why tempt ye God to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?” Acts 15:10

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1

“Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and His doctrine be not blasphemed.” I Timothy 6:1

Other places in Scripture where the Greek word ZUYOS was used was when Jesus said, “Take My yoke upon you, for it is easy.” The word also refers to the oppressive and troublesome laws the government put upon the people. Lord knows we have enough of those!

The black horse will raise the price of food. “. . . a measure of wheat for a penny. . .”. The word penny used in Revelation 6:6 is the Roman denary. This was considered a day’s wages for working in the vineyard. A measure of wheat is about the size of a quart or a liter. One measure of wheat is about what is in one loaf of bread – – – therefore a loaf of bread for a day’s wages. Truly the cost of food has gone out of sight, and with the honey bee problem and the price of fuels, food prices have soared to unprecedented highs. But the worst is yet to come. It is not only the price of food that will be a problem, it will be the availability of food which will be the real problem. But look at the devastated areas in the South. How much would they pay for a loaf of bread? And this is only the tip of the iceberg. What of the rest of the world? God’s judgment is not only on the United States, but the whole sinful world.

In addition, Jesus warns, “Hurt not the oil and the wine.” The word hurt means “to do harm, act unjustly, to violate the laws of God.” We are warned not to do harm to the oil. Our modern world runs on oil. Everything we do needs oil. Oil is needed to produce our electric, pave our roads, plant our crops, deliver our food, and run our cars. How much oil has been wasted in the war with Kuwait, Iraq, and other wars? Our ability to produce oil has been hindered by hurricanes, tornadoes, and other God ordained disasters. Oil prices are soaring. The oil and its production have definitely been hurt.

When the Lord spoke to John, “Hurt not the oil,” he was also speaking of the Spiritual anointing. An unknown Psalmist wrote:

“Saying, Touch not Mine anointed, and do My prophets no harm.” Psalm 105:15

Today, God’s anointed are being threatened when they speak up for God. Any mention of God in schools or public places is an offense against the government and the ACLU who prosecute people who are offensive to them; and anyone who speaks about the things of God are an offense to them. Jesus warned us against these times:

“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for My name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” Matthew 24:9-11

Today we are an offense to the whole world, and to the false prophets who are standing in what was to be the God’s Holy Place, the pulpits of the church. These hirelings know what they have been taught in their denominational seminaries. They have a head full of knowledge, but they are not led by the Spirit. Truly the third seal has been opened.

The Pale Horse – – – The Opening of the Fourth Seal

“And when He had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” Revelation 6:7-8

The pale horse is the fourth seal opened, and represents sickness and death. Truly we live in the day of the opening of the fourth seal. The rider of this horse had a name, and it was Death, and Hell followed. The word used for hell in this Scripture is the Greek word HADES and means “the grave.” Those who contact these many new diseases in our day are ending up in the grave.

The power the pale horse was given was over one-fourth of the earth’s population. There are over 8,000,000,000 (8 billion) people today on the face of the earth. How many will die of sickness and the sword? One-fourth of eight billion people would be two billion people. It is unimaginable that 2 billion people would die. We cannot comprehend this amount.

The death rider has the power to kill with the sword and with hunger. Hunger includes famine and drought. Death will also come from the beasts of the field, the wild animals. The word beast also has the meaning of the beast nature of man. Famine, war, floods, earthquakes – – – all God ordained disasters cause disease and death, sometimes horrible deaths.

The immune deficiency disease (Aids) is claiming the lives of millions upon millions of people, and more every day. It knows no boundaries, and affects people in every country. Legionnaires Disease killed many, and many more are affected by sicknesses.

The Avian Bird Flu has the ability to kill millions, and paralyze the whole earth, causing famine. When the Bird Flu hits, the delivery of food will not be possible because all travel will be paralyzed because of quarantines. Manufacturing and life as we know it may be greatly impaired.

There are cases of Bubonic Plague and Cholera. Diseases thought to be eradicated are again affecting mankind. Disease is breaking out in the south. There are floods in New England, and great fires in the west and droughts elsewhere. Will the United States escape all these things? NO!

The mutated cold virus is killing the weak. Even the healthy take weeks to recover. Staph infections in hospitals have killed those who contact this infection.

“Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.” Revelation 18:8

God’s judgment hand has turned against this nation as well as the world. But God’s elect have nothing to fear because we have God’s promise:

“And the Lord will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee.” Deuteronomy 7:15

God is our protection and our refuge. Nothing can touch us unless He says so. Truly we see the fourth seal opening. It is plain to see, all the things we see in the first four seals are only the beginning of sorrows.

The Opening of the Fifth Seal

“All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for My name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Matthew 24:8-13

Starting with the Fifth Seal, great persecution is going to come upon God’s people. This is the time of the beginning of sorrows:

“And when He had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the Word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, how long, O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” Revelation 6:9-11

When all the devastation and sickness of the first four seals is complete, who will the world blame? It will be the Christians. We are already hated of all nations (peoples). Non-Christians and false religions hate those who are not part of their religious systems. They will seek to destroy those who walk by the Holy Spirit. Even those who call us brother and sister will betray us to the authorities.

Those martyrs under the altar were crying, “How long, O Lord?” This is the heart’s cry of God’s people today as they witness the beginning of sorrows. The Lord told them to be patient until their fellow servants and brethren would be killed, as they were. This is the same time Jesus revealed to His disciples after he announced the list of things that come with the beginning of sorrows:

“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for My name’s sake.

And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Matthew 24:9-13

Those who are killed at the opening of the fifth seal are God’s martyrs. When this happens, then God’s wrath will be poured out in its fulness. From the opening of the fifth seal things will go down hill very quickly.

The Opening of the Sixth Seal

“And I beheld when He had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;” Revelation 6:12

God is going to shake the whole earth. When this happens great volcanoes will erupt. The air will be filled with smoke and debris enough to black out the sun – – – and the moon will appear red through all the smoke and debris. Earthquakes of great magnitude will erupt all over this nation and the world. Paul revealed this time in his letter to the Hebrews:

“Whose voice then shook the earth: but now He hath promised, saying, yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.” Hebrews 12:26-27

God is not only going to shake the earth, but heaven, the Spiritual realm, also. Only those things which cannot be shaken will remain. Then Jesus continued His revelation to John:

“And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.” Revelation 6:13-14

It is not clear what is meant by the stars of heaven falling to the earth. But the descriptive phrase, the heavens departing as a scroll refers to nuclear weapons being exploded in the atmosphere which will create great heat which will melt the ice caps and cause the mountains and islands to be moved out of their places.

Many will ask, “How will this move mountains and islands?” An island is a mountain with water around it. When the great heat caused by the explosions in the atmosphere melt the ice caps at the North and South Poles, then the earth will return to its upright position, thereby changing water levels. The earth now sits at a 23 degree angle and is held there by the weight of the ice caps. Isaiah, the prophet foretells the melting of the ice caps:

“The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.” Isaiah 24:19-20

This reveals the earth will be moved out of its place, and rock back and forth on its axis. This will cause the waters of the earth to be moved. What were islands will be mountains, and the mountains will be surrounded by water, making them islands.

When these nuclear weapons are detonated in the atmosphere, great windstorms will be created on the earth, perhaps as strong as 3000 miles an hour (as quoted by the physicist, Carl Sagan). This will devastate everything in their paths. Jesus warned that Babylon, the United States, will be shaken by a mighty wind. This will truly happen when the nuclear weapons are detonated in the atmosphere. These mighty winds will cause more damage than the earthquakes and the volcanoes. And as Isaiah tells us, the earth will be utterly broken down.

“And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” Revelation 6:15-17

Those who are left after the great earthquake, the volcanoes, and windstorms are going to flee to the caves of the earth, praying to God to let them die. Man has never witnessed such great devastation, as the world is soon to experience. Things will only go down hill from there until God destroys the earth as we know it today. Jeremiah speaks of this day:

“For My people is foolish, they have not known Me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.

I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.

I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.

I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.

I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the Lord, and by His fierce anger.

For thus hath the Lord said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end. For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.” Jeremiah 4:22-28

When God has completed His judgment upon the earth, then the earth will be in the same condition as it was in Genesis, chapter one, without form and void. The phrase without form and void means “unimaginable waste.” We witnessed a small sampling of this unimaginable waste when the Tsunami killed thousands in the Far East, and when Hurricane Katrina hit America’s southern coast. These were only the beginning.

But one of the last promises God makes in His books is:

“And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” Revelation 21:5

God is going to renew the earth for His people to inhabit for all eternity. We are living in the day of His revelation to John.

The Opening of the Seventh, and Last Seal

“And when He had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.” Revelation 8:1

When the seventh seal is opened there will be no more judgment. There will be silence in heaven – – – total quietness and peace for one-half hour. If a thousand years are as a day in God’s time, how long is one-half hour? It is 1/48th of 1000 years, or a little less than twenty-one years..

We are living in the beginning of sorrows represented by the four horses and the first four seals spoken of by Jesus in His revelation to John. We can be assured the time of sorrows is on the horizon. We need to prepare ourselves physically, mentally, and Spiritually because anything that can be shaken, will be shaken. If we are not prepared, then our faith will be shaken, and we could fall away from God’s mercy. Only those who endure to the end will be saved. The prophet Joel gives us insight to those who will endure until the end.

“A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the Garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.” Joel 2:3

If a fire devoureth before them and behind them a flame burns, then God is speaking of those who are in the fire. But, praise the Lord, the land before them is as the Garden of Eden. Even though they are in the fire, they have the vision of a renewed earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. The sinner will perish in the fire, but God’s people will inherit His renewed earth.

Yes, tough times are ahead, but those who are prepared physically, mentally, and Spiritually will inhabit God’s new day. Praise the Lord!

By George Kirkpatrick

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